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Saturday, 12 December 2009
Tony Blair admits Iraq war lies: what happens at Chilcot?
What sort of madness is it that makes a person insist in the face of facts, principles and public opposition, that they alone are right in taking an action that results in over a million civilian deaths, impoverishes us as a nation and rips up our moral fabric?
What sort of moral bankruptcy allows that person to take money from the very companies that made a fortune from the war they started?
What sort of society allows this to happen with no constraints or consequences?
Tony Blair has now admitted in the softest of interviews with BBC's Fern Britton — not Jeremy Paxman or any of the other heavyweights, note —that his decision to go to war in Iraq was nothing to do with weapons of mass destruction (WMDs), and everything to do with regime change.
Isn't this illegal under international law? How many service men and women died because of his faked-up reasons? I'm far from being alone in believing that Blair should now be tried as a war criminal. Blair did what he wanted like he was some third world potentate with divine right to rule with hardly any opposition from his own party to their eternal shame. (Honours, of course, to those few lone voices within the party who did put up a fight and deserve better company than the sheep.)
I never believed him for one moment about WMDs. To me and millions of others who opposed the war, it was a far-fetched cold-war paranoia about moustache-twirling, cat-stroking villains that served the neo-con agenda to grab oil and open up the nation's finance to foreign banks; banks such as JP Morgan charged with co-ordinating the plundering of Iraq and now paying Blair $2 million a year for services rendered.
He said in his typically self-pitying way: "There is no point in going in to a situation of conflict and not understanding there is going to be a price paid."
The trouble is, it's not you paying the price, is it, Tony? It's Iraqi civilians, British soldiers and our national finances. You, Tony, are very far from paying any price, having pocketed your loot.
His change of tack would indicate that the revelations heard so far in the Chilcot inquiry have had an effect on his morale and he's desperately slipping and sliding around to avoid being exposed as a lying, self-serving war criminal bereft of any moral compass save some cartoon Ivanhoe self-image in which he saves the world (TM Gordon Brown) and earns the undying gratitude of powerful men.
What happened to democracy? To British fair play? To the rule of law? For people like Blair, it's no longer about serving your country — it's how can your country serve you and devil take the hindmost.
UPDATE: A FEW FACTS
The Iraq war has cost the UK £6.5 billion.
"Secret MoD documents leaked to the Press now confirm that preparations for the war began as early as February 2002." Paul Routlege in The Mirror.
179 British service men and women have died in the conflict.
Over a million Iraqis have been killed.
"Tony Blair is paid $2 million a year by JP Morgan, the bank at the centre of Iraq "restructuring".
"Total spending for both wars will reach 4.37 billion pounds ($7.15 billion) in the current fiscal year, which ends in March 2010, compared with 1.56 in the year ended March 2006, according to Ministry of Defense figures published by the House of Commons Defense Committee."